Narnia Culture Wars

So much ink has been given to the supposed culture wars looming upon the release of the first Narnia movie that I feel almost guilty that I’m looking forward to the film. To be sure the books are Christian allegory (though some would say a bad one), and when I felt it topical I would blog the back-and-forth. But the whole controversy seems to be full of hot air. It doesn’t matter if that air is coming from novelist Phillip Pullman (read this brilliant analysis of his criticism) or a pastor reciting a “sermo-mercial” as a part of Disney’s marketing campaign to Christians.

I sometimes think the conflicts over this film are far too wrapped up in marketing strategy, and a press looking for conflict to cover. I’m certain Lewis himself would be somewhat horrified to see his works used in such a manner. After all, despite his ardent Christianity, Lewis had a fond affection for pre-Christian myth and religion. An author on Plastic.com posted a quote by Lewis that I think sums up his take on religious culture wars.

“When grave persons express their fear that England is relapsing into Paganism, I am tempted to reply, ‘Would that she were.'” – C.S. Lewis

While some Christian groups will most likely claim a victory when the film does well at the box office (something that seems very likely), I think that rational people should avoid trying to read a deeper meaning into its success. Blockbuster fantasy films often perform well, especially blockbuster fantasy films based on best-selling novels. I for one, will be laying down my arms in this culture-war skirmish.

Jason Pitzl-Waters

Posts